$78M Emporia bond issue on Nov. 5th ballot

Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 11:11 PM CDT
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Emporia voters decide Tuesday whether or not to issue $78-million in bonds to update their schools.

USD 253 Superintendent Kevin Case says it's a number carefully calculated.

"Nine school buildings in it. You begin to do some division of how much money that is per building, it really makes sense that you're gonna have to make some investments," he said.

Case says the renovation plan for each school is different, but you'll see two recurring themes - security and safety.

Developing secure entries for all school buildings is one improvement - another is adding storm shelters.

Nearly 20-percent of the proposed $78-million bond issue will go toward constructing new shelters.

Emporia High and Middle schools will get about half of the dollars to add space.

"We really looked at the needs of the district," Case said.

He said the district's aging buildings need things like new gyms - libraries - and classrooms.

"We're not had a bond issued for right at 20 years, we continue to do maintenance every year, but some of the things that we need to do are gonna take more money than what we would have," he said.

If passed - homeowners would see the total mill levy increase by .5 mills.

That means the owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $5.75 annually.

Case says it's a small price for better, safer schools.

"The needs of education have changed. We have buildings that are over 20 years old, our newest buildings are 20 years old. So we're really looking at how those needs change, and how do we best support our students," he said.

The district's website has a page breaking down costs and benefits - and the work each school would see.


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